Aging facilities may cost Montreal its grand prix

Pauline Marois and her entourage with Bernie Ecclestone in Montreal

Pauline Marois and her entourage with Bernie Ecclestone in Montreal

Quebec prime minister Pauline Marois met with Formula 1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone on race day in Canada and vowed to work hard to safeguard the future of the race in Montreal.

Reports have indicated that the historic race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, on Ile Notre Dame, could be in doubt beyond 2014 due to the lack of a tripartite funding agreement between the various levels of government.

But Marois was quoted by Canadian Press news agency after her brief meeting with Ecclestone: “I said to him ‘We have to conclude a win-win agreement’. I think he agrees with me.”

It has been reported the race requires additional funding for a new contract due to Ecclestone’s demands for the ageing circuit facilities to be updated.

“I remain optimistic,” promoter Francois Dumontier said. “Negotiations are moving forward between all parties and the tone is favourable.”

Ecclestone, however, indicated during an interview with Radio-Canada that he is prepared to play hardball.

“I like Montreal but as far as the race is concerned it’s not desperate, it’s not the only race in the world,” he said.¬†(GMM)

Subbed by AJN.

Reports on by: staff & contributors, Reuters syndication, GMM service, Formula 1 teams, sponsors & organisations.